It seems that ingesting your placenta is a growing trend these days, and that’s a good thing. Sure, it sounds gross but wow does it make a difference! I wanted to share what I learned with my last birth and my testimony in how amazing God’s design is. I truly feel like He gave us this as a natural resource to heal after birth more productively. It has so many benefits and with the thousands of positive testimonials that can be found, the results just can’t be denied.
My story is actually a bit different in that I did NOT keep my placenta to ingest because both my husband I thought it was gross, as well as the fact that in my past 2 pregnancies I didn’t have any postpartum blues that lasted longer than the normal time frame. I felt I just didn’t need it. About 3 weeks after Jaxson’s birth, it hit me. The high after my natural birth was gone. I was crying daily for various reasons, often about grieving that my pregnancy and birth was over. I felt extremely overwhelmed with 2 kids, a house to take care of, my husband’s needs– with trying to meet my own needs. I felt I couldn’t handle it all and I had teenage-like tantrums with my husband– even slamming doors and screaming “You just don’t understand!” It was a strain on every relationship in our house, except maybe with my newborn son. I clung to him for joy and cherished nursing him. I think I felt that I could meet his needs the best during that time, it was the only stable thing I felt I had. By 7 weeks I was desperate for help. I wanted to feel like me again, I wanted to enjoy all the blessings that I was given instead of feeling burdened by them. I tried herbs that my midwife suggested, and she was such a huge emotional support otherwise, but it didn’t help much. My hormones were way off balance.
Finally, one of my best friends offered for me to try some of her placenta tincture from her recent birth. Like I said, I was desperate. I knew I needed something and taking in my friend’s placenta hormones absorbed in alcohol didn’t sound that bad if it was going to help! She gave me a glass dropper with the tincture to take home and we talked with my midwife to see what dosage she would recommend. Each morning I would add 2-3 drops of the liquid into my juice. It is no exaggeration to say that I felt relief within hours. I felt happy again, I felt like me again. I felt like I had control over my home again and of my emotions. My relationships improved and I could finally pass the birthcenter without crying that my birth was over! I took the tincture for several weeks, periodically skipping a day to see if I still needed it. It also was a huge difference when I did not take it as well, I fell back into that crying and overwhelmed stage within a day and I knew I needed to continue. After 3-4 weeks, I finally could skip a day and not feel effects so I stopped. Almost a year later after my period returned, I noticed I was feeling the same way and took a few drops to see if it would help during my cycle. Again, it helped almost instantly!
I am now a firm believer in using our placentas to help keep us feeling more balanced. I learned my lesson the hard way, but definitely will be using this knowledge to make my next postpartum experience to be a much better one! I plan to ingest it after birth in a smoothie and I’m having a specialist come to my home to encapsulate and make a tincture. I will be well prepared for both right after birth all the way up into menopause to help balance those crazy hormones, too.
I think my placenta, along with knowing that we’ve all grown and healed in good ways emotionally since Jaxson’s birth, will only make this postpartum time a much happier one! I’ll be sure to report back in the new year after this little bundle joins us to share the difference with my own placenta and using it from the get-go rather than weeks into depression.
If you are interested learning more, Placenta Benefits website has lots of great articles. It shares more of the benefits (boosting milk production and iron levels are huge bonuses!), some scientific studies on it, the process, more testimonials, and any other question you can think of!